Could a Graphics API Bitmap Font also function as a Video Card / Bios Bitmap Font?

I wanted to use the Rail Model font (where the k/K letter is क/क : as a console font (even for the Bios) for a Linux distro either custom or modded. It needed to be converted into a "bitmap" font. Wynand Marais accepted this and the result for download is at

The folder contains, subfolders saying 1024, 256 and 512 with each of the subfolders containing awd, pwd and tga files. Wynand Marais, the person who produced the bitmap font says:

“256, 512 and 1024 maps to 2^N boundaries used on many video cards for texture sizes. ...these sizes are specified as the minimum (256) where the font is not really clearly visible, the "nice" size (512) which give a good balance of texture size and glyph resolution, and the biggest 1024 which is generally the upper limit... When rendering bitmap fonts, you want to select the texture that gives you the lest amount of scaling between the glyph size in the texture which is either 256/16, 512/16 or 1024/16 in order to give you the least amount of distortion. For example, if you want a font height of 16pixels, you would just use the glyphs directly from the 256 image.

The ".awd" is the "advance width" file. Every-time you write a glyph, you need to advance the text cursor a …[certain] distance before drawing the next glyph. This file contains this information for each glyph in the image effectively supporting variable width fonts.

The ".pwd" file is the "physical width" file which contains the maximum width of each glyph in the image. This information is used when you are calculating maximum line widths, or are working with rendering individual glyphs to ensure you achieve proper centering.”

If there are any techies on this forum that could test this, I would be interested to find out what they have to say.

javascript's picture

I have received some clarification about the bitmap font with regards HVFULLSC. Wynard Marais says:


I don't think my stuff would be the same at all. The fonts use internally by the vga adapter will likely only be a bit mask with no anti-aliasing etc. (I would expect anyway, since the orgins date back to when "PCs" in a sense were first conceived. ) I'm however completely out of depth commenting on how it would work. I've never worked with anything like that, the bitmap fonts I generate are itended to be used as textures in graphics APIs like OpenGL and DirectX which are abstractions above the hardware level. The application in the link I suspect would replace some binary font set programmed into a flash/eeprom on the video card somewhere..."

Thus if there are some techies on this forum that want to test the bitmap font for video cards to see if it happens / in a quality way, that would be interesting.

Also I have amended my original posting including topic subject line as result of this latest information.

javascript's picture

typo correction:

It's: Wynand not what I put: Wynard. Sorry.

javascript's picture

Console font also said at particular Operating System circumstances to be TTY font

Syndicate content Syndicate content